Today, the market is flooded with all kinds of energy drinks, and people are drinking them down like found water in a desert. Unfortunately, the energy that comes from these drinks lasts only for a short period of time. When it wears off, the energy plummets to lower levels than before.
This is similar to some of the energy leaders try to pump into their people. Motivational words, slogans, posters, and events all provide short-term energy boosts, but how can you as a leader create sustainable energy for the long haul? And why does this matter?
Why should you care about energizing your team? Here are a few critical reasons.
- To rebuild trust. All the downsizing, rightsizing, and re-engineering has created environments where employees have lost trust.
- Employees today must be more self-motivated and self-directed.
- As our work environments have become more high-tech, the need for leaders to be more high-touch has developed.
- Work environments today must be supportive and foster the desired behaviors and outcomes.
- All employees want to feel valued and appreciated for their knowledge, skills, and work.
- Leaders have limited time with their people, so the interactions that do happen must be positive and meaningful.
- There is a bottom-line effect – higher levels of focused energy translates to higher levels of revenue.
How do you truly energize your people? Here are five ways to begin.
1. What and how you communicate with your team members is just as important as what you pay them.
Well-informed individuals are good and productive team members, simply because they feel involved. The positive effects of communicating vital company information to your team members are huge. Those who are “in the loop” are energized and feel like a vital part of the organization.
2. Involving your people in decisions that affect them will result in overall better decisions.
The collection of suggestions is one of the best ways to involve your people – and to energize them in the process. Their suggestions will not only help the company but them as individuals, by improving working conditions and giving them a measure of control over their jobs. If company leaders carefully review these suggestions and quickly implement the ones with merit, leadership is sending a message to their people that they are valued. By the same token, an unattended suggestion box sends a clear message and is de-energizing.
3. The training your team members receive is essential for their long-term relationship with your company.
The best companies recognize that training their people pays long-term dividends. When employees are given opportunities to learn and better themselves, it can electrify an otherwise stagnant workforce. Just the ability to break out of their day-to-day routines can be very energizing in itself.
4. Creating new and interesting challenges can keep your team out of a rut.
These new challenges can re-energize them and restore enthusiasm. If you want your employees to feel excited about coming to work, you must create interesting new challenges.
5. Recognize outstanding efforts.
The results of a recent survey revealed that a large percentage of employees had not received recognition for their efforts from those in leadership for as long as two years. That is two years without a thank you for their outstanding efforts. How long has it been since you thanked a member of your team for a notable accomplishment? One word of thanks, according to the survey, stood out in the mind of one employee for an entire year. If you really want to energize the individuals on your team, it may be as simple as saying, “Thank you.”
If you decide to consider some of what you have read here, remember that people today are looking for much more than a paycheck when they go to work. Many employers still don’t get this, and it shows in their production and turnover numbers. My suggestion is to give your people a chance to make an impact, not just do a job. Bosses provide jobs. Leaders provide opportunities for people to engage their best energy to do make an impact. And making an impact creates even more energy across the company.
Dave Ferguson is “The Leaders’ Coach”, an internationally recognized executive leadership coach, speaker, facilitator, and author. For help in creating energy across your team, “ASK COACH DAVE” at 704-907-0171 or at Dave@AskCoachDave.com.